Many people are not aware of this, but it is quite possible to install Windows Vista, or Windows 7 from a flash drive. Even among those who are aware of this face, few like to do it themselves, since the procedure involves some command line voodoo. Many people are afraid that the smallest misstep will render their device useless. Well, gone are the days when such people would need to go to the neighbourhood geek to get their USB devices made bootable and ready to install Windows 7.
Windows 7 USB / DVD Download Tool is a software focused on doing one thing, and one thing only. It takes a Windows 7 disc image file, and produces a bootable DVD or USB drive for the user. It is true that in DVD burning scenarios, there are plenty of other choice and better competitors, but few are capable of creating a bootable Windows 7 USB with its clean GUI, easy interface and impressive performance. What's more? It's completely free!
Its operation is simple. Select the Windows 7 ISO image file, then choose whether you would have it make a bootable DVD or a thumb drive. Once you make this selection, it's time for selecting the target drive on which the write operation will be performed. The biggest mistake you can make here is to select the wrong drive, since doing that will result in the drive being formatted and written over - and the data you had on it would be gone forever. You can be this cautious, right? Once you have made sure the the target drive is the correct one, it is a good time to give the command to start the creation process. It'll take some time, usually 3-5 minutes; you can get yourself some coffee.
Oh yeah, remember this - you need to have a 'more than 2GB' pen drive, i.e. typically a 4GB one.
You may wonder why it is even important to install Windows from a flash drive. Firstly, installing Windows 7 from a flash drive is much faster than installing it from a DVD drive. Secondly, netbooks and tablets are becoming more popular by the day, and most of these devices lack a an optical drive, making such an alternative a necessity. This tool is just meant to help you out in either of these cases, with an ease. As it takes care of the automation of the process commands, you are saved from mingling with the CLI.
Windows 7 USB / DVD Download Tool has been opensourced by Microsoft. You can take a look at their project page if you wish to get the code, or plan to extend it. However, if you are satisfied just having the binary executable program, you can get the latest Windows 7 USB / DVD Download Tool version 18.104.22.168 from here. Windows XP users should take a look at this documentation to make their PC ready before using this tool.